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'Still Here'
John Graham Artist & Filmmaker

'Still Here'
John Graham Artist & Filmmaker

  • Project Details
    Seeking a composer for "Still Here" a short experimental film. Synopsis: About dying beautifully. A young musician in Berlin receives news that his estranged mother is dying. When he visits her in a local hospital, she shares with him that she does not want to die there or at home but somewhere beautiful. He is told that medical care cannot save her, and he is now the designated caregiver for her end-of-life process. He is someone who has been culturally conditioned to suppress feelings, but he now has become the reluctant and sorrowful witness of her death. After much refection, he fulfills her last wish, and he takes her to a serene pond in Tiergarten Park to be with her on her final journey. There they discover together that dying can be beautiful. As his vulnerability awakens, his dreams envision that she dies in nature to become nature.

    Production states: "Death and dying are perpetually sensationalized or trivialized in film and media worldwide. This is what we will disrupt in this new narrative short film project that will explore and embrace how the process of someone dying can be powerfully beautiful. Most people have had the painful experience of losing a loved one. But the discourse that we lead surrounding the topic of death is one-sided and fearful especially in Western societies. The idea of cinematically exploring death and loss in a more nuanced, ambiguous and with beauty sets in motion many philosophical questions. No one wants to die in a hospital, and this art film project will openly question the widely-accepted convention that is expected and more dignified to die comfortably in one’s own home. What if someone wishes to be in nature when she leaves this world? This film project was shot in the city of Berlin in the summer of 2023. This art house film is a deeply Berlin story with two creative protagonists with self-reflective, non-conformist and with strong spiritualities. The context of their shared story is the subtle ambient melancholy that permeates the city of Berlin because of its dark histories. This subtle and deep film will cinematically explore both visual and auditory poetics. The 2 lead performers were challenged to bravely express vulnerability as one of the characters dies in their shared story. Informed by humanistic philosophy, the dialogue and acting performances resonate of human friendship, loyalty, compassion, and love in the face of the reality of death. The editing of the storyline will juxtapose both naturalism with surreal experiments in otherworldly dream scenes with contemporary dancers will be metaphorical extensions of the of the narrative. John Graham is an award-winning Canadian visual artist and independent filmmaker who has created 9 short experimental films which have been screened at over 185 film festivals worldwide in 38 countries. John is the writer, art director, director, producer and editor of this new short experimental film project. John was based at the GlogauAIR International Artist Residency in Kreuzberg in April, May and June 2023 to refine, organize and shoot this exciting project in Berlin. Now that the film has been shot in Berlin, John Graham (key creative) in early 2024 will collaboratively edit the project in Canada when finishing funding has been confirmed. John will work collaboratively with film co-editor, a sound/voice designer and colour grader and the film’s composer. It is anticipated this will film will be 15 to 30 minutes in length. The editing work on this film will be completed individually by team members (chief editor, co-editor, sound/voice designer and colour grading technician. Editing feedback and meeting consultations will occur via Zoom. A project release date is anticipated in mid-2024 and the film be submitted to film festivals around the world. Finishing funding applications for the post-production work on this art project will be submitted in October 2023 to two Canadian Art Councils. The results of these grant applications will be available in early 2024. So far, this exciting project has been generously supported by the ARTS ABROAD Program of the Canada Council for the Arts and the SaskArts Media Arts Independent Artist Program. In Berlin, several art spaces and several businesses including ARRI Berlin provided project access to their "talent support" program. This bravely progressive film project attracted a huge amount of interest. We received over 120 applications for both crew and cast to this unique project. The film shoots of this special film project occurred in various locations around Berlin including the Charite Hospital, in the streets of Kreuzberg of Neukolln and in the very beautiful Tiergarten Park from June 17-21, 2023. All final selected cast, crew and editing collaborators will receive appropriate film credits and IMDb credits."
  • Production Personnel
    John Graham, coordinator
  • Production Type
    Short Film
  • Production Type
    General Staff + Crew
  • Union Status
  • Location
  • Dates & Location
    Works by January-February 2024, remotely.
  • Closing Date
    30th Sep 2023